Weekends are Designed for Learning Leadership in CJ College

Weekend Program

Law enforcement professionals can advance their careers with a weekend master’s program.

In the Dean’s Suite at the College of Criminal Justice is a plaque bearing a motto from noted leadership author James Maxwell, “A leader who produces other leaders multiplies the effect.” It is a gift from the latest graduating class of the master of Criminal Justice Leadership and Management weekend program.

The class of 17 put their seal of approval on it with patches representing their agencies: Police departments from Dallas, LaPorte, League City, Deer Park, Pasadena, and Sugar Land; school districts police from Alief, Conroe, and Spring Branch; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); the Harris County Sheriff’s Office; the Texas Department of Criminal Justice; and the Texas Game Warden.

“It was life-changing,” said Senior Special Agent Jim Balthazar of ATF. “It’s like getting a jump start to your career, and it gives you motivation to do more. It’s a whole new jumping off point.”

The program is designed for criminal justice professionals working in management positions or those seeking career advancement. The face-to-face courses are held one weekend a month at the College and feature some of the top faculty in the graduate program, including Drs. Randy Garner, Dennis Longmire, Jurg Gerber, Phillip Lyons, and Steven Cuvelier, to name a few.

Ronny Taylor, a Captain with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, said the program provides a broad perspective on management and leadership theories. “It made us reflect on what we do and why we do it,” said Taylor. “It evaluates how you manage and lead your people and why you do what you do.”

Capt. Taylor thanked the 100 Club, which provided a scholarship which allowed him to participate in the program.
Another valuable part of the program is networking with classmates, who bring different experiences from a wide range of professions in the criminal justice field. Many in the class now participate in weekly chat sessions; they check on one another after promotional exams. They know they have friends at different agencies that they can tap for help or ideas.

For Susan Clifton, Assistant Chief at the Pasadena Police Department, the classes immediately helped address issues in her department. She wanted make the police force in her community more representative of the people it serves so she launched research into the demographics of the hiring process.

Clifton joined the class to “be a better Assistant Chief than before I started.”

“It is one of the best decisions I ever made,” said Assistant Chief Clifton. “It inspired me and made me more confident in my abilities. It caused me to think. I was very fortunate to be in this group.”

The plaque donated by the weekend program sums up the sentiments of the latest class.

“Thank you for the education, the encouragement and inspiration,” the plaque says. “Your leadership and dedication has helped us all become stronger leaders who can better serve our organizations and communities.”

Member of The Texas State University System